Page 57 - With Lexie O'Hare, Big Intervale (Part Two)
ISSUE : Issue 43
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/8/1
With Lexie O'Hare, Big Intervale (Part 2) This is the conclusion of a talk begun in Issue 42 with Lexie O'Hare of Big Intervale, Inverness County. Lexie went to Boston when she was about 18, worked as a nurse, cooked in a logging camp, ran a restaurant and, after her husband died, ran a chicken farm and guest house in New Hampshire. She often returned to Cape Breton over the years, and finally retired to Big Intervale. (Where were you born?) About 5 miles fur? ther north from here--Forest Glen--small farming community. There were about 30 fam? ilies. From, say, the red bridge over to the top of the mountain at Grand Etang, Pembroke Lake. We went to school beyond Pembroke Lake. About a mile and a half. All the people in that community went to the same school. But you know, many times, especially after I go to bed--all those families are gone, just passed away. And the younger ones moved away. I don't be? lieve I can count two that I know that their children are living today. They moved to Sydney. Woodbine, Meadows, and whatever they are called. There were about three families of Pembrokes, two families of Campbells, two families of Rosses. There were Camerons, there was Gillis--all gone. See, they all had small farms, and it was hard to make a living on them. And the children grew up, they just wanted a lit? tle bit more, and they didn't stay too long. An awful lot of the young people went to Boston. Because many years before that, there were people did the same thing, and they had relatives there. And I don't remember of anybody at that time going to Toronto. My dad when he was young went to Pennsylvania, and in the wintertime they'd go to the Maine woods, then come home. Try to clear some more land. Mother and the children had the carrying on with the work all winter. And that was about it. All these people I knew were very much in the same thing: small farms, the children leav? ing very early in life, and old people, taking them away, moving them nearer some city.... My dad in the wintertime went away. He worked 20 years for R. H. White's. That's when they had the farm out Chestnut Hill-- horses at that time. I suppose he probably was a stable boy. He worked there all win? ter. We had a little more cash than neigh? bours who didn't go away.
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